THINGS will be "much better" by the summer as the country enters the "final period" of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the prime minister.

Boris Johnson was in Wales today, visiting a mass vaccination centre in Cwmbran.

Speaking to journalists via video chat after his visit, Mr Johnson said that, not only was there "light at the end of the tunnel", but "we can plainly see how long we now have to wait".

"Am I optimistic? Yes, absolutely," he said.

"We’re a very very resilient country.

"We can see that things really will be much better by the summer.

"We’re in the final period now, of this pandemic."

Mr Johnson again thanked the work of NHS staff and everyone involved in the rollout of the vaccine programme in Wales.


"Stupendous effort there (Cwmbran)," he said, before quoting an amended version of the Goldie Lookin' Chain song Fresh Prince of Cwmbran.

"I’ve been around the world, from L.A. to Japan – but I’ve never seen a place with vaccines like Cwmbran," said the prime minister.

However, many people were critical of Mr Johnson for making another long-distance trip - following his visit to Scotland.

The prime minister dismissed such criticism though, stating that such visits were simply part of his job.

"My job is to oversee the rollout of the vaccine programme," he said.

"I think it’s right for me to do that, and for people to be able to put their points to me directly.

"We’re trying to give as much detail as we can to people about the way forward for the country.

"To do that, I want to hear from people directly in as many places as I can get to."

Mr Johnson was asked whether poverty and austerity were to blame for the disproportionate effect of the virus on communities such as those in the South Wales Valleys.

He said that now was not the time to focus on such issues.

"There will be a time when we go over everything, when the pandemic has come to an end, and we try to isolate all the particular causes," he said.

"It is multi-factorial.

"I’d be reluctant to ascribe a single cause like that."